premiere: keiyaa inspires strength with “negus poem 1&2”

March 17, 2020
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In times of peril, we need songs of survival — reminders that perseverance and persistence are our legacy as people of African descent.

With her powerful new song, “Negus Poem 1 & 2,” — and it’s simple, yet evocative black and white video — singer-songwriter and producer KeiyaA is reminding of us of our strength while she reminds herself of her own:

“who’s supposed to ride or die for me, if not i?
fear not, know that you’re divine!
real negus never die”

In the video, directed by Chris Currence, KeiyaA is a vision of 21st-century Black feminity: regal in her antenna-like gele; hood chic in her hoop earrings and puffer coat; strong in her facial expressions as she sings to the camera, yet vulnerable enough to shed a tear as she sings the song’s refrain.

Via email, the Chicago-raised and NY-based multi-instrumentalist explains the purpose of the song and it’s lyrics as a personal mantra: “’Negus Poem 1+2′ is a message written to myself as a way to find motivation, to push through the pain of letting go, and the difficult but universal truths about what comes with personal growth.”

Sure, when this song was written and recorded no one could have known that a global pandemic was on the way, but as you repeat the lyrics to yourself it feels like a reassuring calmness in the midst of all this panic — a soul-strengthening signal cutting through the noise and a reminder that this too shall pass.

Be on the look out for KeiyaA’s new album, Forever, Ya Girl, which drops on March 27th